The number of Filipinos expecting better lives and an improved economy in 2017 remains “very high,” according to the latest survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The poll held from December 3 to 6, 2016, showed that 37 percent of 1,500 respondents were “gainers” who believed their lives improved from 12 months ago.
On the other hand, 21 percent of respondents said otherwise.
This yielded a +16 “net gainers” score (the difference of gainers over losers) which SWS classifies as “very high,” roughly steady from the September survey’s record “very high” of +19.
“Net gainers in the past two quarters have been the highest in almost 30 years,” SWS noted.
The same survey found that 48 percent of those polled said they expect their life to improve in the next 12 months, while three percent expect it to get worse, resulting in a “very high” +45 net personal optimism score.
This was also stable from September’s “very high” score of +43 and June’s record-high +46 score, SWS said.
Net personal optimism “has been at +40 and above for the past five quarters,” the pollster said.
Meanwhile, 51 percent of the respondents were also optimistic that the Philippine economy will improve in the next 12 months, while eight percent felt it would deteriorate, yielding a “net optimism about the economy” score of a “very high” +43.
The latest reading barely moved from September’s “very high” +44.
“In the case of net optimism about the economy, the most common answers — historically speaking — have been highly negative,” SWS said.
The pollster added that optimism for the economy has been “very high” since June last year at +15.
The December 2016 survey – the results of which were published in BusinessWorld on Tuesday – had a sampling error margins of ±3 points for national percentages, ±4 for Balance Luzon and ±6 each for Metro Manila, the Visayas and Mindanao.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella welcomed the survey results, saying it is a reaffirmation of the Filipinos’ confidence on President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic policy.
“The Duterte administration is pursuing a policy of economic inclusivity anchored on peace and order. The latest survey reaffirms that the President is on the right track on espousing economic progress and peace and order,” Abella said in a news conference.
The Palace official echoed the statement of Asian Development Bank (ADB) country director for the Philippines Richard Bolt lauding Duterte’s 10-point economic agenda.
“In the recently concluded [The Manila Times] Business Forum in Davao, the ADB executive Mr. Bolt, said that President Duterte’s 10-point agenda is on the right track,” Abella said.
“Content with the economic progress of the Philippines, Mr. Bolt said that there is a need to sustain growth on buoyant consumption and public and private partnership for the Philippine economy to remain strong,” he added.